Tag Archives: pension

Is an Illinois Flat Tax a Fast Track out of Debt?

It’s no secret Illinois is in a financial bind: A stack of unpaid bills totaling more than $8 billion is proof. Some people say the state would dig itself out quickly if it switched from a flat, 5-percent income tax for everyone to a progressive tax in which the wealthiest Illinoisans pay a higher percentage. But opponents say this is just a ruse for a huge tax increase that will only feed lawmakers’ desire to spend beyond the state’s means. We’ve got both sides at rebootillinois.com today. What do you think?

 

 

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Squeezy-Mania Hits Illinois

In a mere 24 hours, Illinois has caught a severe case of Squeezy-mania, thanks to the Illinois’ pension predicament’s new mascot, Squeezy the Pension Python. Through no fault of his (her?) own, Squeezy attracted mostly derisive commentary when he/she debuted Sunday. Really, though, the video in which Squeezy appears offers a pretty good explanation the problem. Plus, it opens the exciting possibility of a pension reform bill written in Parseltongue.

Squeezy The Python Reboot Illinois Pension Issue

 

 

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Chicago Civic Committee: Illinois Pension Can’t Be Fixed

Yesterday we posted that Gov. Pat Quinn’s office now says the state’s pension liability is $95 billion. One group that has been advocating long and hard for pension reform now says the system can’t be fixed. Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago has a four-point plan: eliminate all cost of living increases, impose a salary cap at which pensions are calculated, raise the retirement age to 67 and shift all pension costs to local bodies (translation: school districts) over 12 years.

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Grayslake Pension Loophole Means Taxpayers Owe $500k more over 20 years

While lawmakers devise reforms for the state’s pension system, they should address loopholes that turn the system into a goldmine for a few select employees. Grayslake taxpayers will pay an extra $500,000 over the next 20 years thanks to a state pension law loophole that will benefit just a single former police sergeant, who is entitled to not just one annual 3 percent cost-of-living pension increase, but two, a judge ruled.

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Unfunded Pension Liability up to $95B from $83B

Breaking news!
The governor’s office has updated its pension numbers over the past week. With the state’s largest retirement system expecting to earn less on its investments, the state’s unfunded pension liability now stands at $95 billion. That’s up from the previous figure of $83 billion. And it will only grow without significant reform to the current pension system.

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BGA not Thrilled about Pension Amendment on Ballot

The Better Government Association doesn’t make a recommendation for voters, but it’s not thrilled about a pension-related constitutional amendment on next week’s ballot. “In addition to doing nothing to address Illinois’ growing unfunded pension liability or put any real checks on lawmakers’ ability to increase that obligation at will, the amendment presents several technical problems,” writes Emily Miller, the BGA’s police and public affairs coordinator. “It uses new terms found nowhere in the pension code or in the regulations governing pension funds, making it impossible to understand the practical implications of the proposed language.”

Radogno Weight in on Illinois Pension Debate

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno shows no sign of backing down in her opposition to the biggest hurdle in the pension reform debate. Shifting pension costs from the state to local school district remains a non-starter, she says.

Reboot Illinois’ Pension Amendment Guide

Been wondering about how to cut through all the noise and debate over the pension amendment? Here’s Reboot’s handy infographic on the ballot question…

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Illinois Cut 3% from K-12 Budget in FY13

Due to pension debt, Illinois cut 3 percent from its K-12 education budget in fiscal 2013. Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, reported in the State Budget Crisis Task Force Illinois Report

Reboot Illinois Fact of the Day k-12 education budget cuts Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, reported in the State Budget Crisis Task Force Illinois Report

Illinois Public Pension System, TPS, earned .76 percent last year

If you are a private-sector worker with a 401(k), this will be a familiar story for you: The state’s largest public pension system earned a mere .76 percent on its investments in fiscal year 2012, down from 23.6 percent the year before. A wildly volatile market is to blame, says the Illinois Teachers Retirement System. TRS already had lowered its expected return on investment from 8.5 to 8 percent, meaning the state will have to pay $290 million more into the system next year – and $290 million less into other essential needs. Without change to the pension system, the state remains vulnerable to the fickle U.S. and international market.

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